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Glanbia R&D execs discuss failed bid to split company

By Guy Montague-Jones , 22-Sep-2010

At the annual meeting of Food for Health Ireland (FHI) in Cork, two R&D executives at Glanbia discussed the recent move to split the company.

Glanbia in April considered selling its Irish dairy business to its majority shareholder Glanbia Co-operative Society for about €343m but the farmers who are members of the co-op narrowly rejected the deal.

A split would have reduced the Plc to a business focused on nutritionals and US cheese, leaving the lower growth Irish dairy unit in the hands of the farmers.

Dave McDonagh, head of R&D at Glanbia Ingredients, discussed the logic behind such a deal but insisted that there is no disappointment that it failed to pass the vote.

McDonagh and Loren Ward, head of R&D at Glanbia Nutritionals, also discussed how they coordinate research efforts internally between different business units and externally with outside companies and universities.

In the case of Food for Health Ireland (FHI), they are working with potential rivals including Carbery, Dairygold and Kerry and several Irish universities. The R&D leaders said this is an opportunity to pool resources, push forward basic research and work on specific commercial projects.

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